“My name is David Y. Johnson. I own Cogsworth Industries, the largest company in the world, beating Amazon. I know, pretty crazy, right? I have about fifty-six main factories. As the second-richest person in the world, I have to work harder than any other person, but sometimes I can take days off. And there are relationships here and there, but never like this.”
New York City. A place of dreams, filled with the rich, and… the others.
My name is David Y. Johnson. I own Cogsworth Industries, the largest company in the world, beating Amazon. I know, pretty crazy, right? I have about fifty-six main factories. As the second-richest person in the world, I have to work harder than any other person, but sometimes I can take days off. And there are relationships here and there, but never like this.
Oh, and I forgot. I’m an agent.
Chapter One: The Start
April 21st was the day when the Cogsworth Building opened. It is the largest building in New York, around four hundred stories higher than the Freedom Tower. I could smell the eggs, lightly cooked, but not too light that it was raw, just how I liked them. Georgia licked my face with her wet and rough tongue. My cheek was covered in dog saliva. The door was slightly opened, all the way across from my bed. I slipped on my slippers, feeling the fuzz, but only my right slipper was there. It seemed like my left one was somewhere. My eyes were half open, everything blurry. My foot left the brown carpet. It felt like I was walking on a soft panda before, but my left foot touched the cold marble floor. The room was all white with a little black here and there. My curtains automatically opened, the sun shining on the white painted walls. It shined even brighter on the walls. I got to the doors, my eyes opening wider. I looked out my balcony, seeing Meredith, the cook wearing a white apron with dark black hair like the night, making food already.
“Why, hello, sir,” she said.
“Hi,” I said, walking down the stairs. “I see you’re earlier than usual.”
“Well, your opening is today at 10:00.”
She put the finished eggs and toast on the plate, passing it to me.
“Oh yes, of course…” I said, totally forgetting that I had it. “It’s an important day.”
“Of course, sir, and your friend is here to bring you there. Or… friends.”
I stuffed my mouth with the toast and added some eggs. I ran up, taking off my clothes, and grabbing my hanger. I put on my suit, looked outside, and saw the limo out on the road. I opened the door to leave.
“So long, sir,” Meredith said. “Shall I hire the services to help with the party?”
“Yes, do whatever you need.”
“So long, sir!”
The door slammed. I pressed the button, and the elevator came quickly. I ran out, the doorman holding the door.
“What’s the rush?” Meleney asked, opening the car door.
“I don’t have all day to discuss this, Mel.”
I called her that to annoy her. She’s smart, and she knew what Mel meant.
“I told you to stop calling me that!”
“Why would I? It’s fun.”
“Seriously?! You’re making me act like an actor.”
“Oh sorry,” I said.
She made a disgusted face.
“Besides, I thought you liked acting.”
We pulled into the building. Getting out of the car, people surrounded me. Bodyguards came to push them away. I put on my sunglasses. They put in my ear piece.
“Sir, your call is in two minutes,” the voice from the ear said.
“I’m coming. Keep them distracted.”
I walked on the podium, standing right in front of the huge building.
“Hello, ladies and gentleman. Today is the special day of the opening! The second tallest building in the world!”
“Now, let us begin!”
It was early night. People flooded in, wearing skinny dresses, and some, large skirts. The men had their hair combed to the top, the light shining upon their hair. I felt my stomach gaging, afraid of what people thought about my speech.
“Why, hello, Mr. Johnson.”
“Hello, Mr. Mayor. Thank you for coming.”
“Well, if you’re going to build a large tower in my city, then I have to come, don’t I?”
“Oh!” I laughed, “of course.”
I walked over to Meleney. Her golden, tight dress shined on my eyes. It felt like millions of stars, as if she was the center of attention. People were talking to her. After all, she was one of the head chiefs of New York. Her straight, black hair draped down her back, and some was on her right shoulder. As the classical music got louder, and the lights seemed to dim, I stared at her enticingly. She slowly looked over to me, and it seemed that her face was shining! Her perfect, blue eyes seemed to have moved like an ocean. Dolphins of love were swimming out of her eyes.
People started to fade out, dark all around us. I grabbed her hand. We danced on the marble floor, one mover after the other. She controlled me, and I controlled her in perfect sync until the moment was lost when a server came between us. All of it was a day dream…
“Ah, David. You’ve finally come over.”
“Yes, I couldn’t leave y-” I stopped, noticing of what I was about to say. “I mean, I couldn’t leave my other guests.”
“Oh please, David. You’re far too busy with your other actual guests. We’re family. Greet your guests first, and then we can talk,” my mother said, holding my father’s hand.
Her light white dress was more flurry than the other guests.
“Thank you mother,” I replied, silky and soft too, like I was having a great time, but this was a mistake.
Parties are not my thing. I knew that from the start, but somehow I convinced myself to have the party. The Cogsworth building shined brightly. The blue flickered, the roads and paths were lighted by bright, white lights.
“How beautiful,” my mother would have said.
“Look everyone! The fireworks are about to begin!” A man from the crowd exhaled.
He ran towards the large glass window to see the rest of New York and, more importantly, the building. More people followed, watching. I was already there, drinking my drink. I stood, looking at nothing but the building.
Suddenly, a single firework shot up, sparks following the trail behind the flash. It happened again! Everything became black again. My vision zoomed into the firework. It was like a rocket, flying far away until it exploded into millions and millions of shining flames, flickering. With that, the large bang hit me. I was back. I had to stop whatever was causing this. Unless it was just love. But, no it couldn’t. I didn’t want it to.
“Wow! So amazing! Who’s in charge of the fireworks?” Someone asked.
“Val, or Valentine…”
I didn’t know that Meleney knew his name. I got a call.
“Do not fret, sir. I’ll get it,” Meredith walked over to get it.
She talked, while fireworks were launching.
“Oh!” she said, sounding surprised.
I got worried.
“What is it?” I asked.
“It’s for you,” she said.
I took the phone from her hand, “Hello?”
“We have an emergency, David. The fireworks aren’t in control…”
I grabbed Meleney. We work together.
“Where are you going?!” the mayor stopped us.
I started trying to figure out what I should say, or what Meleney should say.
“We’re going to the building. Someone is…” I started.
“Is trying to move a heavy box! We need to help him.”
“Okay…” the mayor walked past us.
We ran to the 28th floor. I owned three floors. The 29th floor, or the Penthouse, is where I have my living room, kitchen, and a study. It’s also where I have my parties. The 28th is the agent room. We had suits: some of them had upgrades, and others fit our needs. We snuck out and got into a dark, fast, and small limo. It headed to the tower: the top was creaking, and starting to fall.
Chapter Two: V for Valentine
We ran out. I could feel that something was worse than I thought.
“Well?! What are we waiting for?” Meleney caught my attention.
I was staring at the tower. I grabbed my wrist. Suddenly, a shockwave of time shocked the universe. Only Meleney could move with me.
We ran inside, opened the door, and ran up the stairs. We ran to the fifteenth floor, sweat starting to drip.
“How many flights have we gone up?” I asked, stopping, leaning upon the railing.
“Only fifteen,” Meleney said, annoyed that I was too tired to walk. “There are about… 2970 floors more.”
“Oh wait!” I screamed.
I looked at my wrist, pressing a button. Suddenly, I appeared on the 2970th floor. I opened the door, the freezing, blowing wind brushing on my face. Meleney appeared right next to me.
“Glad you could come,” I said, walking towards the explosion.
Time moved so slowly that a car going two hundred MPH went around thirty MPH. The explosion was just starting to get bigger. The needle was starting to fall along with Val. His hands and arms were spread out as if he was wanting to go with the tower.
“Oh no…” Meleney looked at him. “But why…?”
Then she looked at me.
“We don’t have time for this, Meleney!”
I ran, taking out my watch. A little robotic finger appeared out of it. I stretched it out and put it on my finger. A white and blue sticky substance came out, sticking the wires to my fingers. Meanwhile, Mel grabbed the man and the fireworks. She let them go into the air instead of staying underneath the needle. When I turn time back to normal, people from all over would see the huge fireworks. The wires started to come together, and the needle slightly started to come back up. To make sure it wouldn’t fall again, Mel added a ‘glue’ to make it stay.
I touched the pad, and time went back to normal. We used the elevator to get down. Finally, once we got home, people stared outside.
“What was that?!” the mayor screamed.
“Are you okay?! The mayor told us you were right at the building at the time!” my mother ran and hugged me.
“I’m okay, Mom…”
“You could have died!” Ms. Gensa said. She was the one who paid the workers to build the building. “All my money! Could have been for nothing,” she screamed as if it were the end of the world.
Meleney walked up to me and whispered in my ear, “Where are we going to put Val?”
“Don’t worry, I have a health center on the 28th floor.”
“I’ll sleep over tonight, just to make sure. Is that okay?”
The party ended. I made another speech before thanking everyone for coming. Meleney stayed in the health lab, staring at Val. I walked down to the health lab to see Meleney looking frozen.
“What? Oh, nothing.”
“Something’s wrong. I know it.”
“I never told you? Val is my uncle!”
“Oh no. I’m so sorry…”
“It’s fine, really… I should get some shut eye.”
“Good night,” I walked out, going to my room.
Meredith was already gone. I opened the creaking black, wooden door. Georgia was sleeping on the bed. I took off my clothes and went to bed.
Chapter Three: Blood Piles
It was 8:30 am. The curtains didn’t automatically turn on. My eyes were ready for the sun, but the curtains never opened. I got up, wondering what was wrong. The lights didn’t turn on either.
What is happening? Why was all the electricity out? I wondered.
As I walked down to the kitchen island, Meredith wasn’t there. When I opened the door, she was there, trying to press the doorbell. She had a card that scanned to open the door.
“I’ve been out here for over an hour, sir!”
“Sorry… ” I opened the door for her.
“I ran downstairs and asked for a key, but you don’t have a keyhole!”
“I’m sorry… ” I said again.
She put on her cook apron.
“It’s okay, sir.”
She started to cook. I sat at the table, looking at the newspaper. The headlines were: “Half Destruction of the Tower! Saved by a Mystery…” I read the rest that said people saw me, Val, and Meleney, but they couldn’t see our faces. It only said: “People saw other people rescuing a man.”
“The tower needle was about to fall, until all of sudden, bang! With the explosion, the needle was back to the top!” a witness said.
The newspaper bolded the witness’s name, Otis Robertson.
I’ve heard that name before, somewhere. He had to do something with the agents, but I don’t remember much.
It was already 10:45 am, and Meleney wasn’t up yet! I had cancelled work because of the attack. I decided enough was enough. Meleney and I were supposed to work together and see what Val’s criminal record was, or anything at all about what happened.
I walked downstairs. I saw wires on the ground. Water spilled, and I avoided the electric waters. I got to the stairs and saw a small blood trail led to the stairs.
“Oh god… ”
I touched the stairs. My slippers were on the first floor. The blood was cold. Something happened last night. I got to where Val was sleeping, the rehabilitation bed. It was empty. He was gone.
I looked in the other room. There was more blood there. I looked at the couch, and blood piles dripped from the couch where Meleney was sleeping. Her hand was the only thing I could see from the door. Her hand was dripped with blood, still falling. Her white nail polish was now with red strips of blood.
I ran over. Her corpse lay there, her mouth slightly opened. Her chest bled blood still. Her mouth also had blood in it, spilling. I grabbed her, my hands covered in her blood.
“Meleney!” I screamed, echoing through the whole apartment.
I held my cheek next her bloody one. My hot tears, boiling, fell on her blood.
Police came to the sight. Valentine’s fingerprints were found on her chest and the knife. This knife said something on it: “2X9.” The writing was made of blood. It was written everywhere on the walls and on her.
I felt horrible. It was my fault that I left her alone down there with a maybe-killer. I needed to fix this somehow. I looked through my things, trying to find something with time.
“God dang it!” I yelled, crashing all the things hanging from the wall.
They fell and broke. I put on my suit, took out the watch, and tapped it. Time froze with the shockwave. I walked out, closing the door, and looked out the window. I saw police about to drive away with the body. I knew it would be all over the news in just a few minutes. I wondered if I would stay frozen in time forever, trying to make it look like I didn’t just disappear, but I did. Suddenly, I heard a knock on the door.
But time was frozen. No one could move!
I opened the door, and suddenly I was kicked to the ground. A knife missed me by an inch. It was the same one, but this one had thin, very light blues line all over it as if it was vains of blue blood, glowing. I looked up.
It was Val!
“Why?! Why did you kill her?!”
“It’s all part of the plan. You’ll find out, unless you wanna join her.”
I flipped up, grabbing the knife. I threw the knife, but it moved with normal time, very, very slowly. As I looked at the knife, he kicked me down. He kicked me again, against the window. The window started to crack, and the real time started to come back. He threw four large, glowing spheres. Two of them stuck my hands to the window, and the other two stuck my feet to the glass.
“I’m sorry Dave… if you can’t help me, I can’t help you.”
One last kick shattered the glass. I fell in the normal time, but everything surrounding me was still frozen. I was about to hit the ground, until the sticky substance that was supposed to glue things together came out and stuck to the wall. It was like Spiderman! I swung and shattered the windows. Val was about to stab Meredith in the neck.
“Look who’s back!”
He turned around. I grabbed his wrist, throwing him across the table. The table started to flip in frozen time. I turned on normal time. He fell and the table crashed on him. Meredith screamed, hiding behind the island in the kitchen. I grabbed his neck.
I would have said, “No one kills my Mel!” But instead, I threw him out the window. His body crashed on the ground. My face was red with anger, until Meredith grabbed a gun and shot. The bullet hit my back.
Chapter Four: Too Many Davids
I opened my eyes. I was lying on the ground of the roof. The needle was still starting to fall. Suddenly I got up and saw me and Meleney! The same actions of what happened last night.
“Holy…!” I screamed. Meleney and I looked at me. “Uhh…”
Suddenly the fireworks exploded.
“Umm… David? Why is there another one of you…?”
“I have no idea…”
They took a long look, and a small moment of silence fell over time.
“I’m you! From the future… ” I started. “And I have come–”
The shockwave shocked me. My watch exploded in my face, burning me in normal time somehow.
I woke up on the street of where the building was. It was when the explosion happened, again! I saw the limo, seeing the door to the building open. I went inside the limo, trying to turn it on. After a while, I took out a gun from the limo.
“I don’t remember having this…” I said, looking at it.
It had a glowing electric ball inside. I tapped the button. It shattered the limo windows and sent out a giant blue portal. I got out of the car and looked at the portal. I ran through it, hitting myself.
“David –” Meleney was about to finish her sentence.
“Another me?!” My past-past self said.
“Oh god.” My past self said.
Everything wasn’t making any sense.
“Drop Val! Quick!” I said, “He’s going to kill you, Mel!”
“Seriously? Even your future self calls me Mel?!”
I noticed that I was duplicating. I grabbed the fireworks from underneath the needle. Suddenly, bang! It exploded, again.
I woke, again. I got into the car. My other self, who I now called David two, took the gun. I turned on the car.
“Watch out, me!” I yelled.
David two jumped into the portal before me. The car went through it too.
“David why –” Meleney was about to finish her sentence.
David two was about to yell, “Drop Val, Mel!” But all he could get to was “Drop–” before I crushed him with the car by ‘accident’. I ran out.
“Drop him, Meleney!” I yelled. She looked at me. All of a sudden, David two grabbed the fireworks. I ran to him to push him away, but the fireworks hit Meleney and exploded.
“God dang it!” I yelled.
“Great job, Me three…”
“Mel!” the original me yelled.
With Val in her arms, they both hit the ground in normal time. I took out a gun from the car. It was finally a normal gun. I shot David one and two, along with me.
I woke up on the 2700th floor, running up to the floor where everything was happening. Once I got up there, David one, two, and three were dead. The original me was crying, turning on normal time. The needle started to fall in normal time. The gun lay on the ground. I picked it up and shot myself again.
I finally woke up on top of myself on the roof.
“Ahh! Future-future me?!” David one screamed, standing up.
I landed on my face.
“God dang it, me,” I kicked him to the ground.
I grabbed the gun from David three’s hand and shot David two. The fireworks were about to explode. Finally, I grabbed them and let them out into the air. I grabbed Meleney’s wrist and tightened it, not caring if she was in pain. I had enough of this. Suddenly, someone shot me!
I landed on the car, going through the portal.
“Meleney! Please! Let go of Val, he’s going to kill you, and maybe even kill me!”
“But, I haven’t told anyone but –”
“He’s your uncle!” David three yelled.
“They are from the future, Meleney…”
“Yeah, trust us…”
She did nothing for a while, but then finally let him go. All of us let a sigh of relief. All of a sudden, everything turned white. A large light hit all of us.
I finally woke up in bed. The curtains opened like normal. Meredith was already cooking. I stared at her, knowing that she would kill me, but not knowing when.
“Good morning Dave…” Meleney walked out of the doorway.
I looked at her, just to make sure. I said nothing but just hugged her.
“Wow! What happened? Why are you hugging me…?”
All of sudden she hugged me back. A tear fell from my eye. Meredith got up from sitting. I looked over, pressing my watch just in time. Her gun was about to shoot. I could see the sparks slowly moving. I grabbed the bullet and aimed it at her. Real time came back, and she was dead.
Chapter Five: Life Again
It was twenty years after the attack of Val. I moved to the Berkshires, Massachusetts with Meleney. We had two kids, Harrison and Dakota. The small house is right in the middle of the woods, far away from the tower.
I knew I wouldn’t ever join them again. My company is now owned by a woman named Ava Neumaier. She’s now the richest person in the world. I went all the way down to the fifteenth, but that doesn’t matter to me. Harrison is now sixteen and is working for Ava. Dakota is only twelve but is learning fast from her mother. Meleney stays at home with me. We are not ‘secret agents’ anymore. We’re known as the “Time Watchers”. We help with time, but crime has gone down.
But when I thought that everything would be normal, I was wrong again.
On 2037, April 23rd, someone named Oliver Shakins was messing with time somehow.
“I’ll go get him, It’ll be easy…”
“Dave, you can’t do everything on your own.”
“I just want to get rid of him. Besides, I don’t want the thing with the tower and you with Val to happen again!”
“Fine, but be safe. Dinner’s at seven, and the kids are coming at four.”
I grabbed the suit and my watch. I ran into the ‘time car’. It opened a portal, not knowing where it would go. The car opens a portal to whenever there is a problem in time. I was still going through when everything started to turn red. I looked around, when suddenly, a large flash of light blinded me.
I woke in a small cottage. It was my house when I was little. It was my childhood. I saw me, my sister, and my dad. It was the day when my sister was taken. Her name was Meleney, like my wife. That’s one of the reasons I married her. My sister was taken by the government. I never knew why. But I think I now know. It —
“Why hello, David…”
It was Oliver. He was wearing a black suit.
“Why? Why did you send me here?”
“So you could learn the truth…”
“Meleney, she was taken because…”
“Because she was ‘out of this world’,” I said, looking down.
“No, because her time powers were not from a watch, or suit. It was in her blood. She was dangerous…”
“How do you know?”
“Because I helped to take her. I was the head chief.”
I knew it! I said in my mind. That’s where I heard his name. He was the head chief for the government and specialized in time.
“You do not bring my wife into this conversation.”
A table appeared out of nowhere. He put a slip out of his pocket. It said: “Meleney Johnson, born 1971, Mother: Alexis Delhi. Father: Willie Johnson.”
I looked up at him. I grabbed it, starting to cry. My stomach turned, everything twisted. Memories of Mel, destroyed. A garbage can appeared.
“If you need to, you can –”
I threw up into the trash, gagging every moment, my lunch from yesterday, and the dinner dates all away from my body. I looked around, dizzy, and food came up again, all over the table this time. I grabbed a gun, still dizzy. My hand was shaking, along with the gun.
“Shoot me, Dave. I served my purpose. You killed my mother. I’ll meet her in heaven.”
The gunshot pierced through him. All of sudden, everything started to go away, glitching.
I got in the car, looking at the picture of Meleney. Driving away, I felt sick again. I got home, holding the slip. I put it on the table. I watched as she opened the slip.
“Honey, what’s this?”
“Meleney Johnson…?” I said, grabbing a beer.
“My last name is Forder, you know that!”
“The government erased your mind and made you Meleney Forder…”
“Oh my god!” She said, walking to the kitchen. She threw up in the trash as well, “I never knew!”
“What if I did? What would that have done?”
I looked at her. I walked outside, getting the time car. I drove away, watching the woods leave. I drove up the mountain. I went to the top, grabbing the portal gun. I shot it, the portal opened behind me. I watched the sunset, and the large Cogsworth building. It shone in my eyes.
I froze time. When I grabbed the beer, I also grabbed her watch. It would make her time normal. The government tore out her powers when she was young. When they extracted the time blood, they put it in her watch. I pushed the car into the portal. It slowly fell.
Before I went in, I threw the beer. I never drank it. I never would. I took the pictures of my children. I tore them out with the glass. The portal led to 1979, when all of it began. When Meleney was taken. I couldn’t have let her marry me. I couldn’t have let them take her.